Fundraising Archives | Sojourner House


Maelene Myers to be 2019 Pearl of Hope Recipient

Maelene Myers, 2019 pearl of hope recipient

For someone who doesn’t like to be in the spotlight, Maelene Myers has been nothing short of a lighthouse in the East End community for more than two decades.  And for Sojourner House MOMS, Myers has played a pivotal decision-making role forming and developing Sojourner House MOMS since it opened in 2004. As a matter of fact, Myers, who is Executive Director of East Liberty Development, Inc. has sat at the helm of the Sojourner House MOMS board as its president for a decade.  She plans to step down from that role after next week’s MOMS board meeting adjourns.

When asked why she has taken on Sojourner House MOMS as a decades-long project she holds close to her heart, Highland Park resident Myers said the following:

“Providing safe and stable housing is very important during recovery. The fact that this is permanent housing, which creates even more stability, allows the family to heal on their timeline and not with those restrictions set by other programs, due to short-term funding criteria,” said Myers.

Myers, a Cleveland native, has worked at ELDI for 22 years, and her stellar reputation often proceeds her, as an article commemorating her time at ELDI exhibits. (  Accolade after accolade for her many projects – from low-profile to very high-profile —  to improve Sojourner House MOMS, East Liberty and the surrounding areas made choosing Myers as Sojourner House’s 2019 Pearl of Hope recipient an easy decision to make.

“Maelene Myers has been a vital instrument in creating and sustaining Sojourner House MOMS, a program that provides housing and services to families in recovery.  Without her commitment and gifts of her time, 42 families would not have the beautiful apartments that we call “MOMS” – Motivation, Opportunity, Mentoring and Spirituality,” said Sojourner House Executive Director Joann Cyganovich. “She has served for many years and our community is so grateful for the lives she has changed. The opportunity to succeed has been provided for future generations to come through her work.”


Thank you, 14th Annual Victorian Tea Supporters!

At Sojourner House’s signature fundraiser, the 14th Annual Victorian Tea, 350 guests attended the on Sunday, April 15, 2018, raising over $60,000.  The event was chaired by Nancy Davis, Sojourner House board member.  Special thanks to honorary chair, Karin Mayr, Founder and CEO of Sabika Jewelry.  This year’s Pearl of Hope recipient was Lynne Chadwick, CAO and Director of Risk & Compliance at BNY Mellon, and long-time Sojourner House supporter.  Shannon Perrine, reporter for WTAE-TV’s Action News, was the event emcee.

The event featured a silent auction, basket raffle, and program that included a poetry reading from a Sojourner House graduate, and a live musical performance from Eric Granata and Nina Sainato.  The program also included a proclamation from the City of Pittsburgh presented by Henry Horn-Pyatt on behalf of the Office of Mayor William Peduto.  Guests were among a unique audience to view the debut of a new video, “Words Without Walls Poetry Reading“.  Post Script Productions, LLC, a silver sponsor of the Tea, filmed and produced the video.

Below are a few photos from the event, please check out our Facebook page for more.



































Words Without Walls Poetry Reading Video

Please check out our new video!   This video had its debut at the 14th Annual Victorian Tea.

Sojourner House opened its doors to Chatham University’s Words Without Walls program in 2012.  During Words Without Walls, MFA students visit Sojourner House each week to teach creative writing.  At the end of each semester, our residents present their work to the public during readings at local art galleries.  Please watch the video to hear excerpts from the most recent Words Without Walls poetry reading.


You’re Invited! 14th Annual Victorian Tea Tickets Available Now!

Tickets are now on sale for Sojourner House’s 14th Annual Victorian Tea! (Please note the early-bird ticket special offer!)  Please help us celebrate the successes of our families and to support us as we continue our fight to keep families together so they can become healthy, productive citizens of our community.

Please click here to purchase tickets

We look forward to seeing you in April!


Sabika founder/CEO Karin Mayr named Victorian Tea honorary chair; long-time supporter Lynne Chadwick named Pearl of Hope recipient

Sojourner House’s 14th Annual Victorian Tea – to take place Sunday, April 15, 2018, 2-4 p.m., at Pittsburgh’s Grand Hall at the Priory – promises to be a very special afternoon, thanks to supporters of Sojourner House, new and old alike.

14th Annual Victorian Tea Save the Date

Karin Mayr, founder and CEO of nationally renowned company Sabika Jewelry which is based in Pittsburgh, will be this year’s honorary chair.

Karin’s story is an inspirational one. She started Sabika from her kitchen table, in Pittsburgh, during a time of financial need for her family. She was determined to build a company that connects women from all walks of life. She focused on creating beautiful, artisan-made jewelry rooted in her 20 year experience as a successful trend forecaster. She has since offered an entrepreneurial opportunity to thousands and has seen Sabika transform lives. Today, Sabika is sold by independent Sabika Consultants, both women and men, through Sabika Parties across the U.S. and helps bring out the individual beauty of those who wear it.

“I want to support Sojourner House, because helping children is an essential part of their program. I have always been an advocate for children,” said Karin. “At Sojourner House, you give these children and families hope and structure when they need it most.”

Long-time Sojourner House supporter Lynne Chadwick will receive the 2018 Pearl of Hope Award.

Lynne, who is CAO, Director of  BNY Mellon Risk & Compliance,  has dedicated significant time and energy to Sojourner House for nearly a decade. She served on the board for two terms, taking on such roles as board president and governance committee chair. She also served on the tea planning committee for eight years, including serving as tea chair in 2010. In addition, Lynne has hosted multiple meetings and fundraisers to attract contributions for Sojourner House.

“Having Lynne Chadwick as a supporter of Sojourner House has been a true blessing and a godsend, She has offered so much on so many levels to help Sojourner House grow into the successful organization it is today. She is most deserving of this recognition,” said executive director Joann Cyganovich.

PLEASE NOTE: The 1-2 p.m. social hour will include a meet-and-greet with our honorary chair.  Tickets will be available for purchase, starting on Jan. 15.  For more information about the event, please email  To learn more about Sojourner House and to view photos from the Victorian Tea from previous years, please visit our Facebook and Twitter pages.


Alex + Ani “Charmed by Charity” Fundraising Event to Support Sojourner House

Attention, back-to-school shoppers! You’re invited to Alex and Ani Pittsburgh’s “Charmed by Charity” event to support Sojourner House … in Shadyside AND at Ross Park Mall!

We hope you can stop by Alex and Ani Pittsburgh’s “Charmed by Charity” event Wednesday, Aug. 23, 3-5 p.m., at 5505 Walnut St., Shadyside, and at Ross Park Mall. Enjoy refreshments and explore the newest Alex and Ani collections while supporting a wonderful cause  … 15 percent of all proceeds will be donated to support Sojourner House!

A Sojourner House representative will be on hand to share information about this amazing organization. Please contact to RSVP or for more information.


Shadyside Presbyterian Strawberry Festival: “Berry” Good Time for a Good Cause!

The 24th Annual Shadyside Presbyterian Church Strawberry Festival will take place THIS Friday, June 9, 5:30-8 p.m., at the church, 5121 Westminster Place!

The Shadyside congregation will host a traditional evening of fun, games and delicious food to celebrate the arrival of summer and once again support one of its mission partners … Sojourner House!

With something for everyone, the festival offers a perfect evening of fun. Menu items include fresh strawberries, ice cream, strawberry shortcake, grilled hot dogs, chips, pasta salad, tossed salad, and beverages. Baked goods also will be available for purchase. Activities will include games on the church lawn with prizes for everyone, children’s crafts, balloons, and face painting. (In the event of rain, the festivities will move indoors.)

There is no charge for admission. Crafts and the cakewalk are free.  Tickets for refreshments and other activities will be available for purchase. Baked goods may be purchased with cash.

All proceeds will benefit the Sojourner House MOMS program. Many thanks to Shadyside Presbyterian Church!



Sojourner House Celebrates Volunteers at Annual Recognition Dinner

Volunteers are part of the backbone of Sojourner House and Sojourner House MOMS. As a matter of fact, hundreds of volunteers support Sojourner House and MOMS throughout the year, every year. That’s why Sojourner House makes a point of celebrating and recognizing its volunteers each spring.

Liz Wasel, Childcare Development and Volunteer Coordinator, coordinated this year’s dinner, which took place the evening of Wednesday, April 12, 2017 at Sojourner House.

“We at Sojourner House could not do what we do without our volunteers,” said Wasel. “There is never a job that’s too little, and our volunteers do the job because they care about us.”

“The annual volunteer event is what we like to do to show how much Sojourner House appreciates the volunteers,” Wasel continued.  “I personally have had the privilege and, yes, it is a privilege to work with many of the volunteers. They are the best!”







March 16th – Amazon will be donating 5% on eligible purchases to Sojourner House!

In celebration of Amazon being ranked #1 in customer satisfaction by the ACSI —and to say thank you to our customers for their support—on Thursday, March 16 only, Amazon will donate 5% (10 times our usual donation rate) of the price of eligible products customers purchase at  This offer begins at 12:00 AM Pacific Time, and expires at 11:59 PM Pacific Time.

This is a great way to help the families at Sojourner House and Sojourner House MOMS while you shop!  Please feel free to share.



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